The memorial ceremony for the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, that launched the United States into Second World War, takes place again in person this Tuesday in Hawaii, after the pandemic of COVID-19 forced a virtual format in 2020.
The date is of great importance to Americans because it was a surprise attack on December 7, 1941, without a formal declaration of war by Japan, which left 2,400 soldiers and civilians dead.
The attack also wounded 1,000 people, and about 20 US warships and 300 aircraft were destroyed or damaged in less than two hours.
The then president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, He described the date as “a day that will live in infamy.”
About 150 World War II veterans, including 40 Pearl Harbor survivors, are expected to attend Tuesday’s ceremony at the memorial to the victims in Hawaii, where a minute of silence is observed at 7:55 a.m. (12:55 p.m. ET), the time the attack began on a Sunday 80 years ago.
The event will also be broadcast live on the internet.
All the few survivors of the attack on Pearl Harbor are older than 90 years. Many of the veterans arrived in Hawaii on Friday on a special flight from Dallas, Texas.
Also this Tuesday, the military will return to their graves the remains of sailors who perished on the USS Oklahoma in Pearl Harbor, after years of efforts to identify them.
The Pentagon project managed to identify nearly 400 victims of the Oklahoma with the help of DNA technology and dental records.
To date, only 33 wrecks on the ship have not been identified, according to a report from the Washington Post.
Almost half of those killed in the attack (1,177) were from USS Arizona, which was sunk by two Japanese bombs without giving the crew time to escape. A structure on the remains of the Arizona, seen from the surface of the water, now serves as a national monument in Pearl Harbor.
The day after the attack, President Roosevelt asked Congress to declare war on Japan. Three days later, Germany and Italy, allies of Japan, declared war on USA.
It took four years for the United States and its allies in Europe and Asia to prevail over Germany and Japan, in May and August 1945, respectively.
Voice of america